SORRY, TOUR & RETREAT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO 2024!

Itineraries

SACRED INDIA TOUR & MEDITATION RETREAT
This two-week program is organized around the temples, shrines, and ashrams, which are such a wellspring of spiritual energies for the entire world!! The program includes the Ashrams of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna, Ananda Moi Ma, Master Sivananda, Sri Aurobindo, and The Mother… All of whom were important influences in the life of Sri Swami Satchidananda.
A typical day begins with Group Meditation and a Hatha Yoga Class from 6 – 8 AM, followed by a buffet breakfast at our hotel and then... Many adventures! In the evening, we will gather again to conclude the day with chants, deep relaxation, and Satsangs.
January 16th, MondayDay 1 - Welcome to India

This one-night stay is to gather our group, get acquainted, have an orientation, and then launch our program!

Target your flight arrival time in Chennai to be between noon and midnight on the 16th.
(Your preassigned taxi driver will carry a placard with your name on it. We will be at the hotel to greet you and help you get settled)

  • 6:00 PM Hatha Yoga Session
  • 9:00 PM Yoga Nidra

Overnight in Chennai at Trident Hotel

January 17th, TuesdayDay 2
  • 7:00 AM Morning practices and breakfast
  • 10:30 AM Gathering for orientation and introductions
  • 12:30 PM Travel to Thiruvannamalai with stops for lunch and sightseeing along the way
  • 5:00 PM  Vedaparayana - Ramana Ashram
  • 7:30 PM The teachings of Ramana Maharshi

Overnight in Tiruvannamalai at Ramana Towers

January 18th, WednesdayDay 3

Thiruvannamalai is a Mecca for meditators and jnana yogis from around the world.  It pulses with spiritual energy and is home to many ashrams and temples; for hundreds of years it has always included an enlightened soul in its population.

  • 7:00 AM Morning practices and breakfast
  • 10:00 AM Tour of Ramanashram, Thiruvannamalai & Arunachala Village School
  • Optional programme in the afternoon: massages and swimming at Sparsa Hotel
  • 7:00 PM  Meditation at Ramana Ashram

Overnight in Tiruvannamalai

January 19th, ThursdayDay 4
  • 7:00 AM Morning practices and breakfast
  • Meditation in Virupaksha Guha
  • Tour and Darshan at Arunachaleeswaran Temple
  • FREE AFTERNOON
  • 7:30 PM  Meditation Workshop

Overnight in Tiruvannamalai

January 20th, FridayDay 5
  • 5:00 AM "Girivellam" circumambulation of the Holy Mountain
  • (1, 2 or 3 hours in length-your choice -- with Rikshas available to return to hotel)
  • 10:00 AM Hatha Yoga in hotel
  • 11:30 AM Lunch at Ramana Ashram
  • 4:00 PM Bhajans at ashram of Yogi Ram Surat Kumar
  • 5:00 PM  Meditation at Ramana Ashram

Overnight in Tiruvannamalai

January 21st, SaturdayDay 6

The province of Pondicherry was governed by the French for centuries, so the town is a delightful fusion of French and Indian.  We will meditate daily at Aurobindo Ashram and study the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and his companion, The Mother.

  • 6:00 AM Morning practice and breakfast (short version)
  • 8:00 AM Travel to Auroville
  • 10:30 Meditation in Matru Mandhir
  • 12:00 PM Lunch and tour of Auroville community
  • 3:00 PM Travel to Pondicherry and driving tour of Pondicherry
  • 6:00 PM Hatha Yoga session
  • 7:30 The Teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Overnight in Pondicherry at Anandha Inn

January 22nd, SundayDay 7
  • 6:00 AM Meditation at Aurobindo Ashram
  • 7:00 AM Hatha Yoga and breakfast
  • 10:00 AM Travel to Beach Resort
  • 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM swimming, massage, lunch and beach walks
  • 5:00 PM Shopping excursions in Pondicherry

Overnight in Pondicherry

January 23rd, MondayDay 8
  • 6:00 AM Meditation at Aurobindo Ashram
  • 7:00 AM Hatha Yoga at hotel
  • Darshan at private quarters of Sri Aurobindo
  • Discussions with Dr. Larry Seidlich
  • Lunch in Aurobindo Ashram Dining Hall
  • FREE AFTERNOON
  • Evening stroll along Pondicherry boardwalk
  • 7:30 Pranayama Workshop

Overnight in Pondicherry

January 24th, TuesdayDay 9

Chennai is a commercial/technology hub (a city of six million) which is also home to extraordinary temples, shrines and ashrams.  You will be amazed by the Ramakrishna Mutt, the Shrine of St. Thomas, and Kapaleeswaran temple.

  • 6:00 AM Meditation at Aurobindo Ashram
  • 7:00 AM Hatha Yoga and breakfast
  • 10:00 AM Travel to Chennai
  • 1:00 PM Lunch at Maha Mudra Restaurant
  • 3:00 PM Meditation at Tomb of St. Thomas
  • Darshan and tour at Kapaleeswaran Temple
  • 7:30 PM The Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna

Overnight in Chennai at New Woodlands Hotel

January 25th, WednesdayDay 10
  • 6:00 AM-8:00 AM Morning practice and breakfast
  • 9:00 AM Visit to Ramakrishna Math
  • Satsang with Swami Mahamedhanandaji
  • 4:00 PM Visit to Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram

Overnight in Chennai

January 26th, ThursdayDay 11 - Republic Day/Travel Day

Rishikesh has provided shelter and inspiration for seekers and sadhus for many centuries!  Situated on the banks of the Divine Mother Ganges and at the foot of the Himalayas, it offers blessings and joys on every side.  

  • 6:00 AM Morning practice and breakfast
  • 9:00 AM Board bus for airport
  • 11:00 AM Flights to New Delhi and Dehradun
  • Dinner in Vasundhara Palace and walking tour of Rishikesh
  • 8:30 PM Meditation at the Ganges River

Overnight in Rishikesh at Vasundhara Palace

January 27th, FridayDay 12
  • 5:30 AM Meditation on the Ghats (at the Ganges)
  • 6:30 AM Hatha Yoga at the hotel
  • 10:00 AM Tour of Divine Life Society
  • 11:00 AM Meditation at Guru Nivas
  • 2:30 PM Tour of Beatles Ashram
  • 5:00 PM Harathi at Parmath Nikethan
  • 7:30 PM Stories of Master Sivananda

Overnight in Rishikesh

January 28th, SaturdayDay 13
  • 5:30 AM Meditation on the ghats 
  • 6:30 AM Morning practice and breakfast
  • 8:30 AM Travel to Vashishta Guha
  • Ritual bathing in the Holy Ganges
  • Lunch at Café De Goa
  • Explorations and shopping in Lakshman Jhula
  • 5:30 PM Satsang with Swami Muktanandaji, schedule permitting

Overnight in Rishikesh

January 29th, SundayDay 14
  • 5:30 AM Meditation on the ghats 
  • 6:30 AM Morning practice and breakfast
  • FREE TIME UNTIL EVENING
  • 5:30 PM Kirtan in Ananda Kutir, the private home of Master Sivananda
  • Dinner at Madras Cafe
  • 7:30 PM Stories of Ananda Moi Ma and Neem Karoli Baba
January 30th, MondayDay 15
  • 4:30 AM Puja at Vishwanath Mandhir & Offerings at tomb of Master Sivananda (optional!)
  • 7:00 AM Morning yoga practice and breakfast
  • 9:30 AM Travel to Haridwar with sightseeing at:
  • Hanuman Mandhir (Neem Karoli Baba Ashram)
  • Jain Temple
  • Meditation at the Tomb of Anandamayi Ma
  • Lunch at Invitation Restaurant
  • 3:00 PM Travel to Delhi, with dinner en route

Overnight in Delhi

January 31st, TuesdayDay 16 - Last Day!

On this our last day we will explore the multi-cultural aspect of India’s capital city, with a visit to the Ba’hai LOTUS, Moghul edifices, a Sikh Temple, the Delhi Krishna Temple; and we will conclude our tour experiences with prayers at the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • 7:00 AM Morning practice, breakfast and final packing up
  • 9:30 AM Tour of Delhi including:
  • Tour of Ba’hai LOTUS Shrine
  • Worship at Hare Krishna Temple
  • Lunch at Gurudwara
  • Prayers at tomb of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Red Fort
  • 6:00 PM Farewell dinner at Airport Holiday Inn

Drop offs to airport or to Delhi hotels as needed

Om Shanti, Shanti, ShantiFarewell! Bon Voyage!
The town of Thiruvannamalai has been a pilgrimage site for millenia, and in this town, there are mysterious blessings that surround us constantly. The mountain (“Arunachala”) is credited as being the source of these blessings.

This itinerary is tentative, and as we get to know about your interests and energy levels, we will make some adjustments to the program. We want you to feel very much “at home.” As of now, there are three days of silence in the schedule, but if the group requests additional silence, we can add that in. One day of fasting is also indicated – but it is optional. “Girivellum” refers to the circumambulation of Arunachala. It is a level 8-mile walk, but no one is obligated to complete it.

We will keep a driver and car available to pick up anyone who gets tired. On most days we will have breakfast at our hotel and eat lunch together but leave you on your own for dinner. There are many restaurants near our hotel.

Ramana Towers has two classrooms on the rooftop terrace, which we will be using for our Yoga practice and evening programs. We anticipate offering two levels of Hatha sessions in the mornings, at least in the beginning. Sri Nochur Venkataraman will conduct seven lectures at Ramanashram, and we will have the opportunity of attending most of them.

He is an Indian scholar, a disciple of Ramana Maharishi and a delightful, inspiring lecturer. Dr. Haresh Pandya is an Integral Yoga teacher and physics professor. He embodies all that Is best of the Indian culture, and his bhajans will lift you into heavenly realms! He will conduct our evening sadhana on most days.

OM SHANTHI, SHANTHI, SHANTHI